Boom Goes the Dynamite: NCAA Tournament Day Four

Posted by nvr1983 on March 21st, 2009

dynamiteAfter a thrilling finish last night that made Demetri Goodson a household name for at least a few days, we think the tournament has officially begun. Even being fairly selective, we think there are at least 3 outstanding games today. Here’s a quick rundown of the games we’ll be covering tomorrow:

  • 12:10 PM: #6 Arizona State vs. #3 Syracuse
  • 2:20 PM: #12 Wisconsin vs. #4 Xavier
  • 2:30 PM: #11 Dayton vs. #3 Kansas
  • 2:40 PM: #13 Cleveland State vs. #12 Arizona
  • 2:50 PM: #8 Oklahoma State vs. #1 Pittsburgh
  • 4:50 PM: #6 Marquette vs. #3 Missouri
  • 5:00 PM: #10 USC vs. #2 Michigan State
  • 5:20 PM: #9 Siena vs. #1 Louisville

A couple thoughts on the scheduling: (1) It’s nice to see the early finish for those of us who have to work on Monday morning and (2) I think the NCAA and CBS might have finally figured out the spacing issue. Outside of the early game, I don’t think there should be any point during the other 2 sets of games where  we have all the games at halftime. I’m guessing the NCAA and/or CBS must have hired a bunch of McKinsey consultants at $500/hr to figure out how to stagger the games. Now I’m looking at it without a fancy Excel model, but this looks like a reasonable set-up, which should get the job done, but I’ve been wrong before. . .

12:08 PM: One piece of big news from the morning: Dominic James has been cleared to play today. I’m not sure what kind of experimental medical techniques they have up at Marquette, but that’s a shocking piece of news. I’d be surprised if he could even go 10 minutes today as he was expected to be out for at least 2 months when he broke his foot (don’t remember which bone) back on Febraury 25th, but we will wait and see.

12:25 PM: This game looks like it should be fairly entertaining and competitive. Interesting back story about Jonny Flynn and James Harden. I know the old school guys won’t like it, but with the growth of AAU and all these summer camps I think it should be expected that stuff like that will happen.

12:30 PM: For those of you who questioned my earlier assertion that the arenas looked dead this year, the NCAA is backing me up. I guess it should be somewhat expected with the economy although most tickets are purchased via the lottery well in advance. The 50% in Miami is appalling though. One more thing to remember about these numbers. . .they reflect the number of tickets purchased not the attendance. I’m sure there are a lot of tickets that have been purchased by ticket brokers that have not been purchased by people who actually go to the games.

12:40 PM: As talented as Harden is, I really question his tendency to disappear for long stretches. Is he unable to play hard for 40 minutes or is he “letting the game come to him”?

12:47 PM: Arizona State is getting run out of the gym right now. I wonder how much the early start hurts the West Coast teams here. I’m not sure if any of you have data on this.

12:50 PM: We just posted the next part of our Mascot Challnege. Be sure to vote for your favorite mascots and help him/her win the national title.

12:52 PM: Rihards Kuksiks is single-handedly keeping the Sun Devils in this game with 15 of their first 30 points. Syracuse goes into half with a 41-32 lead. Harden still doesn’t have a point. If I’m a NBA GM, his tendency to do this drops him a few spots on my board.

1:05 PM: Josh, I would think that 1 FG in a game and a half doesn’t help the draft stock of a guy who was the projected #3 on Chad Ford has him as his #5 prospect and a projected “top 10” (requires ESPN Insider access) and notes “if he has a bad tournament, NBA teams worried about his lack of size and athleticism could start dropping him on their draft boards.”

1:20 PM: Lot of guys with 3 fouls now. This could be big if someone picks up their 4th in the next couple of minutes.

1:27 PM: Well we have our answer: Jeff Pendergraph gets his 4th and Josh gets the pleasure of watching Eric Boateng play.

1:33 PM: Mark it down. 13:30 left. James Harden decided to start playing. . .

1:40 PM: People are still throwing up the shocker? I thought that went out a couple years ago.

1:42 PM: A ton of contact that doesn’t get called and then Pendergraph gets called for his 5th trying to block a shot by Paul Harris with 10:19 left. Harden will have to take over with the Sun Devils down by 12.

1:49 PM: Josh, I agree that NC State made a horrible decision. Jim Boeheim even took a shot at the NC State AD recently for their decision. He would be an excellent candidate, but I’m not sure if he wants to go back to the ACC after what happened last time. He has carved out a nice little nice in the Pac-10 where he can compete for a league title without all the pressure. I think another issue is that Herb Sendek isn’t as “sexy” a choice as someone like Jeff Capel in terms of energizing a program and its boosters.

1:54 PM: Down to a 4-point game with 6:30 left. I didn’t expect the Sun Devils to get this close. Do they have enough left to finish off the comeback? The Flynn-Harden duel could be very interesting.

1:57 PM: Yikes. 38.9%? Let’s hope we don’t get a Boateng-Arinze Onuaku FT shooting contest in the last few minutes. That could set college basketball back a decade.

2:05 PM: Are we going to a FT shooting contest already?

2:10 PM: The Sun Devils seem to be trying to get it all back with 3s and now they’re in a position because of all those misses where they really do need 3s now.

2:20 PM: I think the games so far have settled the Big East vs. ACC debate at least for this year.

2:30 PM: Ugly start in Boise. 8 points combined in the first 6:20.

2:37 PM: Interesting article in the New York Times today about Allonzo Trier a 6th-grade basketball “prodigy” and the world he lives in. Definitely worth a read (particularly if you’re “watching” the Wisconsin-Xavier game).

2:55 PM: Kansas has opened up a 7-point lead with 11:09 left in the first half, but all of the other games are close. Will the winner of the Wisconsin-Xavier game break 50?

3:00 PM: It looks like Sam Young has brought his “A” game today. To all the NBA execs and GMs who are reading this, do not pass on him in the lottery. You will regret it (unless you get Blake Griffin then ignore my advice).

3:05 PM: What’s this traveling call that you are talking about? I think I have seen it on ESPN Classic, but I thought they did away with that call about 10 years ago. I agree on the Trier article. It’s amazing how much money is spent on something like AAU basketball. I just went through my own recruiting season for something that I would consider slightly more important than middle school AAU basketball and I had to pay for almost everything outside of a few meals and a free hotel at 1 out of 11 places I visited.

3:07 PM: Jameson has been playing very well lately, but they’re also helped a little by their schedule. Looking back on their streak, I see 1 signature win (over a team I wouldn’t expect them to beat): UConn. I’ll agree that they’re probably one of the 5 hottest teams in the country right now, but just wait a few more days before you start planning your road trip to Detroit.

3:12 PM: Slow start from Pitt again today. I expected them to come out on fire after their near-debacle in the first round. Not looking good for my predicted champion.

3:17 PM: I’d have to go with DeJuan Blair because he’s the #1 guy on his team (as much as I love Young’s game) while Byron Eaton is probably only #1A along with James Anderson.

3:25 PM: It looks like the “last team in” Arizona will be advancing to the Sweet 16 (calling the game so early that Billy Packer would make fun of me). Do you guys think St. Mary’s and Patty Mills could have done that with the same draw?

3:30 PM: Sam Young has 20 with 2:17 left is keeping the Panthers in the game. I’m telling you this guy needs to go in the lottery.

3:39 PM: Wow. That was a weird sequence. How was Levance Fields the only one on the court who knew what was going on?

3:41 PM: Huge sequence there. Tied at 49 (!!!) going into half. I’m interested in hearing what Travis Ford will say about that in the post-game press conference. Seriously though, where is the sideline reporter questioning a coach going into halftime when you need her?

4:05 PM: Does anybody think that OK State is winning this game? If not, when do you think Pitt will pull away. I’m thinking the 10 minute mark.

4:20 PM: Pitt seems like it is ready to blow this game open, but can’t seem to hit the big shot. Anderson and/or Eaton need to step up pretty soon for OK State if they are going to win this game.

4:40 PM: Sorry for the delay. I had some wireless issues at my condo. Congrats to Xavier and Kansas for reaching the Sweet 6. Pitt-OK State and Arizona-CSU are still close games. Should be good finishes in both.

4:45 PM: 7-0 OSU run cuts it to a 1-point game with the Cowboys going to the line with 3:48 left. What would this mean for Jamie Dixon if he fails to get the Panthers past the Sweet 16 (this time the 2nd round) yet again?

4:50 PM: Tied with 2:15 left. Fields gets the continuation, but he misses the FT. Two point game with a little over 1 minute left.

4:53 PM: Onions! Fields has really stepped it up in the last couple of minutes. Pitt by 5, but Eaton sinks a pair to cut it to a 3-point game.

5:00 PM: That’s a new career-high for Young. I’m guessing we’re going to hear a lot of “survive and advance” out of Jamie Dixon and the CBS analysts.

5:20 PM: I agree that Xavier will give Pitt a tough game, but I still don’t think we have even seen the Panthers’ “B” game yet. I wouldn’t sleep on them yet. As for the rest of the day, I’m going to take a break now, but if the games get good in the last 10 minutes, I’ll be back. Feel free to leave comments/questions and I’ll respond to them if/when I come back later in this set of games.

6:50 PM: Ok. I’m back like I promised. 2 close games in the last 10 minutes. Who do you guys have in the USC-MSU game and the Missouri-Marquette game? I’m going with USC and Missouri.

6:52 PM: One piece of “news” to pass along. The Wooden award finalists were announced this afternoon. The finalists are Blake Griffin, Hasheem Thabeet, DeJuan Blair, and Tyler Hansbrough. Not exactly shocking although I would question Hansbrough’s inclusion since he wasn’t even his conference’s POY (a honor he lost to his teammate Ty Lawson). It doesn’t matter because Griffin should win this unanimously, but it still is strange.

7:00 PM: It looks like we will have 3 exciting finishes tonight. Right now there combined margin in the 3 games is 6 points.

7:03 PM: Tom Izzo >>> Tim Floyd. Not exactly a surprise, but the way they handled big men in foul trouble says a lot about their coaching ability. Taj Gibson is done for the day while Izzo can still use Goran Suton.

7:10 PM: Siena has used a 10-0 run to grab a 2 -point lead with 8 minutes to go. Is Louisville going to be our first top-3 seed (#1 overall) to go down?

7:15 PM: For those of you wondering about Dominic James. . .he has 0 points, 1 assists, 1 rebound, and 3 fouls, but the Jerel McNeal and Wesley Matthews have had huge games.

7:16 PM: Ugh. Sensory overload here. 2 games tied in the final minute and CBS shows us the game with 6 minutes left. . .

7:18 PM: Tied in Boise with 38.3 seconds left. . .timeout Missouri. . .MSU is going to win because. . .I don’t know I was watching the other tight game in the last 30 seconds. I’ll echo Josh’s sentiments. Maybe I was wrong about CBS getting it right.

7:22 PM: Wow. Lazar Hayward. I don’t even know what to say. . .

7:25 PM: I don’t get it. 3-point game with 4 seconds left and CBS switches?

7:27 PM: Awful finish for Marquette. Is Buzz Williams covering his mouth in an attempt to make us believe that he’s not cursing out the officials?

7:36 PM: Josh, there was certainly some luck in both wins, but a lot of champions have had these type of wins along the way. Louisville is one of the more interesting teams in quite some time. They have to be the least respected #1 overall seed that I can remember.

7:50 PM: Ok. Well not a lot of insight out of the CBS guys. Check back tomorrow when rtmsf returns from his vacation to see what else we have planned. Thanks for putting up with me for the past 4 days.

nvr1983 (1398 Posts)

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28 responses to “Boom Goes the Dynamite: NCAA Tournament Day Four”

  1. Ryan says:

    For some reason I thought that was Pargo. I think I was too thrilled about the tip in!

  2. Josh says:

    Ummm, is harden ruining his nba draft stock completely here?

  3. Harden looks a tad disinterested to me, he should’ve gone to the hole at the end of the half there, but instead, he settled for the lazy three. I hate it when players do that. No a good sign for Harden, at all.

  4. Josh says:

    Figured as much about Harden…which is annoying to me, cuz i selfishly want Gerald Henderson to drop out of the lottery so he’ll come back…and that doesn’t look like it’s happening. Also, if harden drops, G could move into the top 5 ( and draftexpress currently have him at 6).

    To paraphrase Mike Dunleavy Jr, you might want to come back for your senior year, but if you’re a top 3 (or in G’s case, top 5) pick, how do you say no to that?

  5. Terrible, terrible call on Pendergraph for his third foul.

  6. Josh says:

    For the record, i love the fact that Boateng is in…..duke transfer…redonkulously sloppy hands…worse than zoubek with less size.

  7. Josh says:

    Hey BGoD writer, has there been a worse coaching replacement than Sidney Lowe for Herb Sendek?

    With all the vacancies, why aren’t we hearing Herb’s name a lot more? Seriously, I could see him wanting to rejoin the ACC or taking a coaching vacancy elsewhere (though definitely not at Arizona for obvious reasons) .

  8. Why would Herb want to leave ASU?

    It’s warm and they appreciate him for being an outstanding coach. Why would he want to come back to the ACC?

  9. Josh says:

    I’m not sure if he wants to come back or not…but I don’t get why Jeff Capel would want to come back either and he’s mentioned. But the media mentions Capel constantly, and Sendek really seems a bit underrated.

    Mind you, i honestly never thought he was that great a coach when he was in the ACC….but the results at ASU and NC State’s subsequent fall are pretty telling.

    (Though part of that might be the fact that Sid Lowe is the worst coach in the ACC hands down. Seriously, at least Hewitt can recruit, and UVA’s done well in recruiting (though Leitao is gone) with Landesburg and Singletary. Seriously, how is this guy still hired? Ugh.)

  10. Josh says:

    As for the big east-ACC debate, I’ll agree the Big East was certainly better. The problem though with the big east is it has 4 teams that are just well, absolute trash (The Johnnies (or Red Storm), Blue Demons, Scarlet Knights, and of course the Pirates (Seton Hall). Which with the unbalanced schedule is a bit of a weak thing.

    I mean, i question Louisville since its schedule was really easier than UConn and Pitt. Now we have a similar problem starting in the ACC, but while its unfair that some teams (Im looking at you Wake) only have to play the top teams once, even the lowest teams in the ACC (GTech, UVA) are good enough to pull an upset if you’re not careful. You can’t say that about the bottom 4 in the Big East.

  11. Josh says:

    The Trier read is beyond fascinating. Meanwhile, Ok State is getting away with a lot of traveling calls here.

    Just saying.

  12. Jameson says:

    Outside of Louisville, is there anyone playing better basketball the last month than Syracuse?

  13. Josh says:

    @Jameson, Memphis or USC perhaps.

  14. Josh says:

    Shocking question…who’s more important, Eaton or Blair? Blair’s a better player, but Eaton is more important to his team I’d think.

  15. Josh says:

    I gotta agree with Raftery here, this is as much a lack of perimeter D as it is a large amount of Great shooting. Each shot is wide open. Which is not very impressive for Pitt.

  16. Josh says:


    It’s Jamele Horne (The AU Player)-like. GAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  17. Josh says:

    And tie game at half. Oklahoma State is done. No way they can keep up that for another half.

  18. Josh says:

    Or….now. 13 minutes left, and the game is over.

  19. Josh says:

    Are these all nba refs or anything? No traveling, continuance, and not a single charge to be found. Seriously.

  20. Josh says:

    Blair just mugged a Cowboy over the back, no call. CMON refs.

  21. Josh says:

    That’s the game.

    The refs at the end gave every call to Pitt there :-/ Might have been right, but at least one of those calls looked like a charge to me, and blair definitely mugged a Cowboy in place for an offensive board there. Sigh.

  22. Drew says:

    Pitt is going to run into some trouble against Xavier.

  23. jablo says:

    Just got the Marquette game how has James looked so far?

  24. Josh says:

    I don’t see Xavier giving Pitt much trouble….Xavier will struggle dealing with Blair and the team will benefit from a few days of rest. Moreover in each of the first 2 rounds, only 1 or 1 and a half (Blair didn’t have as great an offensive game as you’d think this game) of the big 3 of Pitt were really on. I gotta think at least 2 of their players will be at normal strength in the S16.

  25. Josh says:

    Siena has tied it….WOW. What a session. Why are there 3 games on now and only 1 on at 12? That’s criminal..wer’e going to miss at least one of the MSU or Marquette finishes.

  26. Josh says:

    Siena lost this game with that dunk…..Its funny, Louisville like Pitt they managed to win only due to luck in my opinion…Siena has missed like a bajillion open 3s, including Hasbrook who is the dude who well, normally makes these open looks he’s gotten today.

    They’re gonna hae an easier matchup with Arizona, one would think. However, can they take MSU or Kansas? I can’t see it.

  27. jersey says:

    I know they have MMOD, but for those of us away from our cpu’s I feel CBS should go back to a split-screen situation when so many games are close. Siena was beating the top team overall in the tournament by two points, yet when they returned to the game Louisville was ahead by five or seven. Hate to say bad job by the CBS crew, but they also missed USC’s offensive possesion at 52-47. Maybe I’m nitpicking.

  28. scott says:

    here in louisville, they ran a scroll when the game was nearly over saying how cbs new york had the decision on what game to show, not them. and then they ran cbs’ number and an email address to complain to them. cbs has done a terrible job this year, after i thought they did a good job last year. the worst of the worst is switching off wisconsin’s shot mid flight. i don’t even want to get into the terrible staggering of games they haven’t done. what are your thoughts?

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